March, 2014.  The Newgrange NVLD (Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities) program once again made its presence known at the spring ASPEN Conference. ASPEN (Asperger Autism Spectrum Education Network) is a nonprofit organization providing education, support, and advocacy to people living with ASD and their families . This year the keynote speakers were the world-renowned animal expert, Dr. Temple Grandin and her mother, Eustacia Cutler. Grandin has written several books on the subject of her life with autism including Thinking in Pictures, which was made into an HBO movie staring Claire Danes. Cutler wrote a book about her experience raising Grandin, A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin’s Mother Tells the Family Story.  Newgrange NVLD Program Coordinator, Carol Cooper-Braun and special educator Erin Flynn hosted a booth at the conference to share information about the Newgrange School’s NVLD program with parents, educators, and service providers. Several other Newgrange staff members were in attendance including the Newgrange School’s principal, Bob Hegedus. Eight topics for professional development were offered as part of the afternoon presentations.  Topics included “Are You Ready for College,” by Farleigh Dickinson University’s assistive technology expert, Vince Varassi, and  “Video Game Playing and the Autistic Spectrum” by Dr. Mark Pesner, director of Therapeutic Options, and “Teen Girls and Young Women with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Special Strengths, Special Challenges, and How We Can Help,” by Dr. Elizabeth Roberts of the NYU Child Study Center. By dividing and conquering, the Newgrange staff managed to have an attendee at every seminar offered. “The ASPEN Conferences always provide us the opportunity to learn from a variety of experts in the field.  I’ve been attending the conference for over ten years, and each time I go I learn valuable information that I can take back to Newgrange and utilize to make the NVLD Program even better,” said Cooper-Braun.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities



February, 2014.   Newgrange School students jumped all over heart disease and stroke by participating in Hoops and Jump Rope For Heart by raising a grand total: $983.00 for the American Heart Association  The AMA funds research, programs and education to fight heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers.

“I’m so pleased with the success of this year’s event,” said Mr. Chis-Luca, PE Teacher and Program Coordinator. “We all had a lot of fun, and the kids enjoyed learning about the importance of physical activity and how they can play a role in saving lives.”

Hoops and Jump Rope For Heart are programs that promote physical activity and heart health through jump roping activities and basketball games.  It is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Thanks to all who participated and to our top fund raisers in Hoops & Jump Rope for the HEART!


Each year, Ms. Scheller’s 9th grade transition class develops a project that improves the school community. In past years, students have started a school recycling program and outfitted our then new Independent Living Studio with all manner of appliances and utensils. This year, students opened “Junior PaperClips,” a school supply store run by and for Newgrange students. In January, the class went to Target and purchased items that they thought their peers would buy. We had a limited budget and students had to work together to figure out how to spend our money wisely. In the weeks following, students teamed up to price products, advertise, and prepare to open a store. Wednesday, March 12, the Grand Opening, was a huge success! We look forward to serving the school community every Monday and Wednesday!

Transition Program


“Young Artists of the Newgrange School donate art work to the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools”.

Tom Belding of the Newgrange School presents Carole Everett, Executive Director of NJAIS, a painting made by Newgrange’s students. The painting will be prominently displayed in the new NJAIS offices in Morristown, NJ.

This and numerous other paintings displayed around the Newgrange School were made in the Flex Art Class, under the guidance of Gordon Sherman, Executive Director (and able hobby artist).
March 7, 2014

 Art donation to NJAIS - Carole Everett -Tom Belding


The Newgrange Education Center is now a certified provider of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills from Dynamic Measurement Group.  DIBELS- Next is the re-normed, standardized screening assessment created by Drs. Roland Good and Ruth Kaminski.

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS® Next) are a set of standardized, individually administered measures of early literacy development. They are designed to be short (one minute) measures used to universally screen all children for potential reading difficulties and are used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and reading skills.

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS®) are comprised of measures to test fluency in the following areas: Initial Sound Identification, Letter Naming, Phoneme Segmentation, Nonsense Words, Oral Reading, Retelling, and DAZE (a new silent reading measure).

The measures were developed to assess student development of phonological awareness, the alphabetic principle, accuracy and oral and silent fluency reading connected text, vocabulary and comprehension. Each measure has been thoroughly researched and demonstrated to be a reliable and valid indicator of early literacy development. When used as recommended, the results can be used to evaluate individual student development toward validated instructional objectives,as well as provide feedback on effectiveness of intervention support. Administrators can use DIBELS Next data to inform them as to the effectiveness of the general education reading curriculum in terms of teaching important literacy skills.


Professional Development


Governor Christie signed the dyslexia screening bill Tuesday, January 21, 2014. The screening tests must be administered by a properly trained teacher or staff member. Screenings will start in 2014- 2015 school year but be mandatory by the 2015-16 school year for students in kindergarten through sixth grade who had not yet been screened.

Dr. Gordon Sherman, Executive Director of Newgrange, played a key role on the NJ Reading Task Force that recommended the need to screen children for dyslexia and provide those at risk with appropriate intervention early rather than later.




The Newgrange School Transition Program and Transition Intensive Program (TIP):

The Transition Program at Newgrange is a school-wide program aligned with New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards for 21st Century Life and Careers.  Read More about our program which builds on Community Based Instruction; our Independent Living Studio and Structured Learning Experiences;  AND introduces the Newgrange Transition Intensive Program (TIP)


Transitions Program




Newgrange made a proud showing at the ASPEN Spring Conference in Woodbridge, NJ on April 21st. ASPEN is a national volunteer non-profit organization providing education, support, and advocacy for those people whose lives are affected by Autism Spectrum and Nonverbal Learning Disorders. Since the Newgrange NVLD Program educates children in these populations, it is the perfect place to spread the word about the amazing work we do. Carol Cooper-Braun, NVLD Program Coordinator, and Erin Flynn, NVLD Educator, were available at the all-day conference to share information about our program. For more information about ASPEN or their upcoming conferences, log onto www.aspennj.org.

NVLD ASPEN Conference Picture (2)

Newgrange Students Present at the Dare to Dream Conference

On May 21st, the NJ Department of Education, Office of Special Education, sponsored a Dare to Dream Student Leadership conference at Burlington County College. The focus was college and career readiness for high school special education students. Six eleventh and twelfth grade students from the Newgrange School attended.

All Newgrange students were part of our NVLD program. They lead a breakout session titled, “What Next? Taking that Next Step after High School.” Our students discussed their own experiences as they prepare for life after twelfth grade. From staying on for a thirteenth year at Newgrange, to developing 504 plans for accommodations at college, students introduced a large group of their peers to ways to prepare for “that next step.” They also demonstrated free Google applications with Smart phones to set up calendars with reminders and project managers for help with long term assignments. Several Newgrange students then participated in an “open mike” forum on the importance of self-advocacy. Way to go, Newgrange students!